“Design doesn’t have to disappear when you have kids. You can have a beautiful home that works for both kids and adults. It’s totally possible…” – Gabrielle Stanley Blair, founder of DesignMom.com and author of Design Mom –  How to Live with Kids: A Room by Room Guide.

Design Mom

Photography by Seth Smoot, styling by Kendra Smoot for Design Mom.

This may sound like a tall order: a stylish home that’s also functional for both small and big kids. But Blair’s new book shows us that it really is achievable. From the entryway and living room to the kitchen and bathroom, Blair offers tips and inspiration for making every space in the house appealing and usable for both adults and children.

The best part? It doesn’t have to cost a fortune and you don’t have to hire a professional. You simply have to visualize your rooms with their purpose in mind, and make the best use of your space while keeping the kids’ needs in mind. Each chapter is dedicated to a specific room in the house and offers tips on how to make the best use of those spaces. Some of our favorite tips from room to room include:

  • Shoe Storage is Your Best Friend: Employ lockers, a simple basket, wooden cubbies or just line shoes up in a row. Having a plan for shoes right inside the door is a must to avoid the feeling of clutter.
  • Think Outside the Toilet Paper Dispenser: Bathroom floor plans aren’t always ideal, and mounting a wall dispenser often doesn’t work for small kids who need to reach it. Bypass the traditional dispenser altogether and look for alternatives such as baskets or vertical stackers.
  • Storing Artwork and Homework: Have a folder in a file cabinet for each year of each child’s life until they’re adults, plus a “treasure box” that can hold some of their “3-D” objects that you can’t bear to part with.
  • Your Walls Should Tell Your Family’s Story: Think outside the box and beyond simple photos. Consider different types of wall art, such as your children’s art, memorabilia, maps and quotes.
  • Furniture that Moves as Quickly as Your Kids: When designing a family room or selecting furniture, consider the roles your family room might have as your kids get older. Opt for a coffee table with wheels that you could move to the side for game night, or a table with legs that can be folded up and moved out of the way during fort building!

You can order Design Mom via AmazonBarnes & Noble or Books A Million.

The Motherhood was provided with a copy of “Design Mom” for review. All opinions expressed are our own.